Recovering the Dubs: Learning From Mistakes and Using Potential

Bartow HodgeContributor IJune 19, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 30:  Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors looks on against the Memphis Grizzlies during an NBA game on March 30, 2009 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Last season was ugly, no doubt about it, but the Warriors are too good of a team for such an injury-ridden season to get the organization as down in the dumps as it is right now. Certain potentials need to be realized, and certain mistakes need to be corrected, but these are well within the realm of the Warriors' capabilities and could be necessary for a possible playoff run.

One. Beefing Up

If the Warriors are known for one thing, it’s their age. Being the youngest team has a couple of main advantages, namely hopeful potential and speed, but has some major drawbacks as well, such as a lack of experience and size.

Experience will come and show what these young ballers will become with time, but size is something that can be worked on this summer and should be. I’m not talking about height, as the short and fast team is just a tenet of Nellie-ball, but rather bulk.

Randolph, Morrow, and Biedrins could all stand to pack on a few pounds of muscle during the off-season, as strength could help them in some seriously lacking post-defense. This seems recognized at least by Randolph, whose most recent interview shows him in the weight room talking about the importance of his off-season workouts.

Two. Jump Around, Get Down

With Mopey Monta and Drunken Don, a very frightened-faced bench, and such downers as the axing of fan-fave Chris Mullin and the Warriors message-board debacle, the Bay Area needs some energetic personalities to bring up the moods of the fans and remind them why they love the Warriors.

Captain Jack and Ronny are the guys to do this, both have some of the most fun personalities in the NBA and the fans always appreciate their high energy. They can not only restore the fans’ faith in the Warriors after an ugly end to the season, but also restore the team’s spirits as well, something that seems very needed.

Three. Relax, Deep Breaths

Now I love Anthony Randolph and appreciate his potential future as much as any other Dubs fan, but there’s nothing quiet as embarrassing as when your Laker-fan friend says “Did that guy just go to the bench and start crying?” Randolph needs to grow up. His anger derived from fouls only compounds his problem with getting fouls, and tantrums just add to the overall negativity of the team.

Luckily, he holds the makings of excellence at both ends of the court, and I hold faith that he gained some valuable experience this season (especially with his increased playing time towards the end) that will be put to use both practically and emotionally next year.

Four. Less Sass, More Pass

Monta needs to realize he is not a superstar YET. He has not quite earned his 66 mil big buck contract, and immature actions such as moped-gate and his general habit of complaining needs to be put into check. He is young and has a lot of money coming his way, a very bad combination for a player’s ego, one that leads to him demanding a position he may not be ready for, the point.

Monta can be an excellent shooting guard who attacks the basket in the vein of Roy or Iverson, but his adamant desire to be the play maker of the team is not proven by his current abilities or decisions.

If the Dubs don’t use this guard-heavy draft to get a good and promising point on Monta’s behalf, or Monta's own point game doesn't turn around, then things could get very ugly at the point for the Warriors in future years.

Five. Talk To Your Men

Don Nelson has been the butt of many jokes over the years, sprouting from a lack of attendance at certain points in the season and an alcoholic demeanor that both confuses and amuses fans.

However, this season being the season that it was, this joking has turned to outright bashing as Nelson’s relations with top guards Ellis (to the point of trade demand rumors) and Crawford (one of the few viable vets on the team) turn sour, and his tightening grasp on the organization leads to what fans view as the ousting of Mullin.

It doesn’t help that his best bud took over at GM. Nelson needs to take his concentration away from the front office and put it on the players, be it developing Monta into a decent point, a more hands on approach with the young talent, or fixing the hellish rotation of last season.